[Interviews with exotic dancers]

Interviews with exotic dancers. Filmed backstage at a club in Ketchikan, Alaska.

00:11Copy video clip URL A woman, sitting by a mirror backstage, explains that she is from California and has been in Ketchikan, Alaska dancing for about three weeks. 

00:40Copy video clip URL Getting started as a dancer. “I was walking down the street in Vancouver and I ended up in a club and I got drunk, and the owner was asking me to go up on stage! He fixed it so I got drunk. I found out later he gets a lot of girls that way. Just, get them loaded and get you up there. After you’ve done it once it’s easy to go back to it again.” She was 19, and had been living on the beach and not working at the time. 

01:50Copy video clip URL Dancing being good money. Getting into the habit. Joking about it being a “9-5 job” – from 9pm to 5am. Going on the road to work. 

03:10Copy video clip URL Variations in pay and customs from club to club. 

03:42Copy video clip URL The difference in men between Alaska and California. 

04:17Copy video clip URL What she’s thinking about when she’s dancing. Needing to communicate with the audience but also drifting off in her own thoughts. 

05:29Copy video clip URL Thoughts on women’s lib. She’s not opposed to it but feels like she hasn’t done much to support the effort. Balancing making her own choices with a job in which she is treated “like a sex object.” “I guess in this type of business you couldn’t be a rabid feminist because you wouldn’t last too long! Too many remarks that would just, like, kill a feminist the first night they tried to work. [laughs]”

06:40Copy video clip URL A work schedule based on limited contracts, usually followed by a break from working. 

07:10Copy video clip URL Costuming. The average costume costing $150-$200. Needing to be “ingenious” about your costumes. 

08:42Copy video clip URL Getting a lot of “worthwhile” propositions from the customers, but in the subject’s experience there being no prostitution among the dancers. 

09:24Copy video clip URL Dancers considering their dance to be an art form. The art of stripping. Learning the art through practice onstage. 

10:23Copy video clip URL Being friendly with other dancers. Differences between performers and performance styles. 

11:51Copy video clip URL Not having much contact with her parents. Them not having much to say about her career. 

12:10Copy video clip URL Handling jealousy in romantic relationships. Needing to go out of her way to keep her partner from getting jealous. 

12:50Copy video clip URL Being unable to think of the “most difficult” aspect of dancing. Liking her work and most of what comes with it. 

14:09Copy video clip URL A new interview subject, backstage. She says she likes dancing in the Midwest, though she avoids Ohio because it’s “a college state” and the customers are too rowdy. Wanting to be treated with respect and not be groped by customers, wanting to be treated like any other kind of performer. 

15:55Copy video clip URL Being raised to “be a lady.” Being disgusted by people who are proud to be rude, which she finds to be common in Alaska. Not being “a hustler” but letting the customers come to her. 

17:01Copy video clip URL Only having danced for a year. “I’m a high school arts teacher.” Starting as a dancer after her boyfriend entered her in an amateur contest, which she won. She quit her job as a teacher and went on the road as a dancer a week later. Her first job paid $350/week. Tax deductible expenses – her boyfriend does her taxes. Loving that she can live fully independently, not needing to hustle or ask anyone for money. Being able to go out to dinner by herself if she wants to and not depending on a man to take her. 

19:38Copy video clip URL Her parents don’t know that she’s a dancer. Telling them that she travels for business. Enjoying the anonymity of being on the road. 

21:20Copy video clip URL Some people at clubs disliking her because she doesn’t hang around drinking or snorting cocaine. 

23:00Copy video clip URL Another subject, Lynne. She’s been dancing for about two years. She started because a friend of hers was a dancer and Lynne needed a job. Dancing all over Los Angeles and the country. Working as much as 15 hours in one day. Learning how to pace herself so she’s not covered in sweat. 



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